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Holidays


Easy Does It Christmas Food
By Monica Resinger



Since both my husband and I have family to see at Christmas time, we spend
time with his family at our house on Christmas Eve and my family at their house on Christmas day. Since my mom always makes a big beautiful dinner and we have so much going on at the time, I usually make a snack buffet table for the Christmas Eve celebration at our house.

It is very simple and helps keep my stress level down. I can make all of it
ahead of time and just set the table up later. I don't get fancy with the table
decorations, but do include a pretty poinsettia tablecloth and pretty holiday
paper plates and napkins. It's now a tradition that everyone looks forward to
because it's easy and provides delicious snacks all day long. The best part
is that by using paper plates, there are no dishes or pots and pans to wash!
The only clean up involved is putting away any leftovers, that is, if there is
any!

Here are a few tips to plan your own snack buffet. When you have time, take
out a piece of paper and start writing down some possibilities. Write down any
recipes that come to mind as you read the following:

~ Trays of things to dip is always popular. I like to put out a veggie
platter with ranch dip (I use the packet of `Uncle Dans' found in the grocery store
to make the dip) and an assortment of crackers with my popular recipe `clam
dip'.

~ A tray of sandwich makings. I load a tray with deli meats and cheeses, and
other sandwich makings such as onion, tomato, pickles, mayonnaise, and
mustard. You might try a tray of club sandwich makings or Reuben sandwich makings. You can also experiment with different breads such as party rye or sourdough.

~ Cookies and Candies. Each year I make two or three of our family's favorite
recipes which are included below. What's your family's favorite cookie and
candy recipes?

~ Beverages. The Irish Cream recipe below served over ice is wonderful and a
special treat. We also buy pop and beer and this seems to make everyone happy. You might have a favorite punch, eggnog or hot buttered rum recipe you'd like to serve.

~ Crunchy things. I always have the Chex mix out.

Don't forget that you can have family members or other guests contribute!
This will give you more variety and less work! Just tell them to bring a snack
type item.

Recipes

Clam Dip

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (6-ounce) can minced clams, save juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste

Combine cream cheese and clams. Stir in just enough clam juice to make a nice
consistency for dipping. Add remaining ingredients and thoroughly combine.
Serve or cover and chill. Serve with crackers or chips.


Toffee Treats

1/4 Box Saltine Crackers
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Butter or Margarine
1 large bag Chocolate Chips
Chopped Walnuts-Opt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
Grease with butter. Cover with saltine crackers. Bring 1 cup sugar and 1 cup
butter to a boil & continue to boil for 2 1/2 minutes. Pour over crackers &
spread fast. Bake 5-7 minutes. Spread a large bag of chocolate chips over, like
icing. Top with chopped walnuts if desired.


Irish Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 2/3 c. Whiskey
1 tsp. instant coffee
2 Tbsp. chocolate syrup
1 tsp Vanilla

Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix on high for 30 seconds.
Refrigerate. Shake well before serving over ice. Should keep for at least 2 months.


Peanut Butter Bon Bons

1 - 1 Lb Box Powdered Sugar
2 Cubes Margarine (1 cup)
1 Cup Peanut Butter
Chocolate Chips or Chocolate Almond Bark

Mix all ingredients except chocolate. Shape into round balls. Chill. Insert
toothpick & dip into melted chocolate. Chill until set.


I know the recipes aren't for the health conscious, but it's only once a
year. Here's to hoping you have an `easy does it' Christmas celebration this year.


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